I often wonder: Is global warming a problem too big, and too urgent, for our democracy, with its slow, meandering ways, to handle? Climate scientists around the world are warning us that time is running out, that we are on the brink of irreversible melting and rapidly expanding deep sea methane leaking. Meanwhile, we are adding more carbon and methane pollution to the atmosphere. While we dither.
What will it take–how many more disasters–before we understand that global warming is a problem that needs an all-hands-in, Republicans and Democrats, solution? Republicans now have an opportunity to give us a plan on climate change and renewable energy. Some of Tuesday’s victors are already vowing to defund EPA. But they haven’t come up with cleaner ways to do business, either. Those who don’t like regulatory burdens should operate in such a way that regulations are unnecessary. Sadly, that is not happening.
The EPA is the only hope we have, for the time being, of controlling runaway greenhouse gas pollution. So far, the private sector hasn’t come up with the technology to meet our energy needs reliably and consistently–and affordably. They are hampered by decades of loopholes, subsidies, and tax breaks that benefit the oil and gas industry — and still the industry complains about the heavy hand of government.
So we are entrusting millions of tiny lungs — those of our children — to the care of Administrator McCarthy using the authority of the Clean Air Act. There is no one else willing or able to do the job of protecting our air. Congress is crippled. Polluters–and their petro-dollars — have become too powerful.
I often wonder how EPA Administrator McCarthy does it. How does she get up and confront the most vexing problems, day in and day out? Judging by the kinds of angry, hair-raising and even lunatic comments about EPA all over the Internet, her tough job is often merciless.
But here we are again, we moms, asking the Administrator to take on one more challenge: Give us protections from methane pollution, not only from fracking, but from the whole process of oil and gas development.
Do it to protect our health. And do it because it is the morally right thing to do. Do it, because without it, the EPA’s plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants will not be enough to slow global warming.
You have to be a superwoman to get all this done.
I’m so glad Administrator McCarthy is a mom — because that makes being a superwoman familiar territory. She knows well: A mother’s work is never done.